Carmela Full of Wishes

Carmela Full of Wishes

Are you looking for a language rich book for the holidays?

Carmela Full of Wishes is a heart felt story written by Newbery Medala-winning author, Matt De La Pena and illustrated by Caldecott Honor-winning Christian Robinson. This beautifully illustrated book is about a young girl named Carmela who just celebrated her birthday. She is finally old enough to go into town with her big brother. This New York Times Bestseller children’s book brings the reader through the adventures that Carmela experiences with her brother as they go into town. Just outside the Laundromat, “she picked up a lone dandelion growing among the concrete weeds.” Before blowing it, her brother reminds her “Did you even make a wish?” She says she did, but that’s a lie. As their adventures continue,  Carmela uses her imagination to create various wishes throughout the book as she and her brother engage in some small quarrels. At the end of the book, her brother gives her the best present a sister can ask for and proves that a wish is just a step away.

Valuable lessons about this book

This book helps teach children about different cultures, sibling relationships and various perspectives. Ask your children, “How is Carmela’s life different than ours?” Discuss the relationship between Carmela and her brother. Ask your children about the similarities and differences between her relationship with her brother and your children’s relationship.

What I enjoyed most about this book is Carmela’s imagination in what she wants for her family. As Carmela walks through town she wishes for “a machine built into her bedroom wall, one that would spit out anything she could think of. Mostly candies.” This continues throughout the book but what really stands out, is Carmela’s wishes for her parents to work less so they can be home with her more. I think that many children can gain some valuable perspective about other cultures and various ways of life. 

Are you looking for other books with valuable lessons about other cultures? Check out my review of The Water Princess and The Empty Pot.

Are you a teacher? Check out this link for book extension activities by Everywhere Librarian.

Want to learn more about the book? Check out this video of the author and illustrator and they discuss their new book.

Carmela Full of Wishes



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